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The Unknown (PG) + Live Music

London International Mime Festival

A man stands gesturing with his finger for silence

Outrageous, lurid, haunting: this circus-set melodrama is one of the great silent films.

The famously versatile Lon Chaney (“The Man of a Thousand Faces”) is Alonzo the Armless Wonder, who uses his feet to perform a circus knife-throwing act. But Alonzo keeps dark secrets: he is not the amputee he pretends to be, and is in fact a killer on the run from the police. With enormous cunning, he keeps his true identity, and his arms, hidden from the world. To act on his infatuation with the circus’ beautiful bare-back rider Nanon (Joan Crawford) would be to give himself away: so, what to do?

A story of amour fou like no other, The Unknown builds to a Grand Guignol finale that is truly breath-taking in its intensity.

We are delighted to welcome back musicians Stephen Horne, on piano, and Martin Pyne, on drums, to accompany this film live.

US 1927 Dir Tod Browning 75 min

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